AT&T iPhone Plans Demystified

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by abijnk, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #1
    At the risk of being redundant, I want to post a breakdown of the 1st gen iPhone, the 2nd gen iPhone and any other phone on AT&T's network:

    1st Gen iPhone:
    Plan consisted entirely of => standard voice plan + data + SMS

    Standard voice plan charges -> varied depending on minutes, but were the same standard voice plans that you would put on any AT&T phone.
    Data plan charges -> a flat $15 dollar fee for unlimited usage. This was and still is the exact same thing as the MediaMax data plan for standard phones (i.e. not PDA phones such as Blackerrys, Blackjacks, Motorola Qs, etc).
    SMS -> You could choose different levels, such as $5 for 200 messages, or $15 for 1500 messages. The SMS plans were and still are the same thing as the SMS plans for every other phone on the AT&T network.

    Since the iPhone is a standout product, AT&T chose to roll the SMS and Data plan charges into what looked like one single charge and called it "iPhone Data." In fact, this is the exact same amount you would pay on any other AT&T phone (that isn't a "PDA Phone"). There was nothing special about the pricing. The 1st gen iPhone was categorized as a standard AT&T phone, and thus was subjected to standard AT&T rates. Don't believe me? Read on...

    For comparison, let’s say I decided to get a Motorola Z9 on the AT&T network right now. I would first pay for a standard voice plan at the minute level that best suited my needs. Then if I decided to access the internet, I could choose to pay per usage, or, more reasonably, pay $15 (MediaMax) and access the internet as much as my heart desired and my fingers could stand. Next, I need to decide if I want text messages, if so I would need to pick a plan, like $5 for 200 SMS messages or $15 for 1500 SMS messages. Let’s say I go with the unlimited internet and 200 SMS messages. Now, it is easy to see that I am paying $15 for internet and $5 for SMS thus resulting in a $20 "data plan." If AT&T desired, they could very easily roll this up into one charge and call it the Z9 Data Plan, but since the Z9 isn't viewed as so "special" they don't bother. So at the end, I have a plan that is identical to the 1st gen iPhone, with standard voice plan + data + SMS.

    Right, so we've now seen that the 1st generation of iPhone was charged just like any other AT&T phone that is not considered a "PDA Phone." So what's going on with the 2nd generation of iPhone? Why did they jack the prices up? Well, put very simply, they have not jacked the prices up, they have simply re-categorized the phone. The second generation of iPhone is now considered a PDA phone, just like a Samsung Blackjack II or Motorola Q. So let’s break it down:

    2nd Gen iPhone:
    Plan consists entirely of => standard voice plan + data + SMS

    Standard voice plan charges -> varies depending on minutes, but are the same standard voice plans that you would put on any AT&T phone.
    Data plan charges -> a flat $30 fee for unlimited usage. This is the exact same thing as the PDA Personal plan for all other PDA phones (I think Blackberrys have a different "special" plan around the same price).
    SMS -> You can choose different levels, such as $5 for 200 messages, or $15 for 1500 messages. The SMS plans are the same thing as the SMS plans for every other phone on the AT&T network.

    Again, since the iPhone is a standout product, AT&T has chosen to roll the voice and data together into one and calls it the "iPhone Plan." In fact, this is the exact same amount you would pay on any other AT&T PDA phone. There is nothing special about the pricing. The 2nd gen iPhone is categorized as a PDA phone, and thus is subjected to standard AT&T PDA Phone rates. Still don't believe me? Read on...

    For comparison, let’s say I decided to get a Samsung Blackjack II on the AT&T network right now. I would first pay for a standard voice plan at the minute level that best suited my needs. Then if I decided to access the internet, I could choose to pay per usage, or, more reasonably, pay $30 (PDA Personal Package) and access the internet as much as my heart desired and my fingers could stand. Next, I need to decide if I want text messages, if so I would need to pick a plan, like $5 for 200 SMS messages or $15 for 1500 SMS messages. Let’s say I go with the unlimited internet and 200 SMS messages. Now it is easy to see that I am paying $30 for internet and $5 for SMS, plus the standard voice rate. If AT&T desired, they could very easily roll the voice and internet up into one charge and call it the Blackjack II Plan, but since the Blackjack II isn't viewed as so "special" they don't bother. So at the end, I have a plan that is identical to the 2nd gen iPhone, with standard voice plan + data + SMS.

    Allow me to summarize:

    1st Gen iPhone == Standard AT&T Phone
    2nd Gen iPhone == AT&T PDA Phone

    Both are subject to the corresponding voice, data, and SMS plans that have been in effect at AT&T since before the iPhone was even launched on June 29, 2007.

    Now, I will not speculate on the reasons behind the switch from being considered a standard phone vs. a PDA phone, or whether or not the prices are too high to begin with, but the fact of the matter is that the iPhone, while outwardly appearing to be treated special by AT&T has been subject to the same exact pricing structure as any other AT&T phone in its category the whole entire time.

    So, what's my point? Well, if you go to the thread where the AT&T official announcement was made you will find a host of people stating that the iPhone is too expensive and they would rather get the Blackberry Bold or HTC Diamond Touch or any number of other PDA phones. It should be known that if you do this you will end up with the exact same monthly bill as a 3G iPhone. The choice is simply do you want to pay that much for the iPhone, or another phone?

    Hopefully this clears some stuff up and doesn't just hog space on Arn's servers.

    Thanks for listening...

    Questions?
     
  2. Xiph0s macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #2
    *scrolls down*
    I just read the summary, I'll take your word for it....
     
  3. abijnk thread starter macrumors 68040

    abijnk

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #3
    Hehe, yeah, its a little long... :D

    But seriously, if you don't understand why the prices are what they are, or think you are getting a jacked price, reading all of it would probably be worth your time. ;)
     
  4. ipodtouchy333 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Location:
    US
    #4
    Ha ya. ^ Maybe obakri, the on who started the "Let's ALL Protest!!! Join Me!!!" thread would learn a little from this. Even though it was a little long, I still enjoyed reading and am glad you posted it.
     

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